Tom Metzen Sr., a tireless worker for horsemen in Arizona, Minnesota, and across the country, died Aug. 10. He was 78.
Canterbury Park and its horsemen's group hope to make a statement this year with an across-the-board reduction in pari-mutuel takeout rates that will range from 15% to 18% for the 2016 meet.
While other concepts in the Thoroughbred business failed to come to fruition, and other racing events came, went, were scrapped, and are generally forgotten, the Claiming Crown survived and actually has grown.
An unusually large number of stall applications has led Canterbury Park to open its barn area seven days earlier than planned.
Canterbury Park and the Minnesota HBPA announced a program July 4 to help horsemen earn cash during a shutdown of racing, caused by a state budget crisis.
Claiming Crown organizers will meet in Tucson, Ariz., the week of Dec. 7 to iron out details of the 2010 event and perhaps look for ways to generate purse money through sponsorships.
- By Tom LaMarra
Organizers hope to spark some new interest in this year's Claiming Crown, a $600,000 series of seven starter allowance stakes set for July 15 at Canterbury Park.
Canterbury Park in Minnesota will open May 14 with a 10% increase in purses. The daily average will be $138,000, the highest since the track reopened in 1995.
The Claiming Crown, inaugurated in 1999, is on its way back to Canterbury Park in Minnesota for 2003, but the date has been moved up from previous editions of the event.
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